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Saints Through The Crystal Ball: Game by Game Predictions

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Nov 27, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates with wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) after a touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams during the third quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Rams 49-21. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 27, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates with wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) after a touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams during the third quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Rams 49-21. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dec 4, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) gets up after being sacked by Detroit Lions defensive end Devin Taylor (98) during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Detroit defeated New Orleans 28-13. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 4, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) gets up after being sacked by Detroit Lions defensive end Devin Taylor (98) during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Detroit defeated New Orleans 28-13. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports /

The Saints finish the first quarter 3-1. Not bad for a three-road-game quarter. Yes, two of those wins are against good teams. But in case you forgot, we’ve seen the future.

Let’s back to it.

Week 5: BYE

Man, again with this early BYE. Me no likey.

Week 6: The Detroit Lions

I can’t say I like this matchup. The Lions have a stellar offense, and it’s only gotten better with the additions of T.J. Lang and Rick Wagner. Yes, the lost Larry Warford to the Saints (hey, another reunion!) but Lang and Wagner together more than make up for that. They’re going to be tough to stop. And dammit if Golden Tate doesn’t kill us every damn time we play the Lions.

On the other side, the Lions need a linebacker something bad. But are the Saints really equipped to make them pay for that lack? Not at the moment. Maybe if they add the right gadget-back piece. And maybe they’ll manage that. But as of now, they’ve got a solid DL and a strong secondary.

It’s coming off the BYE, yeah. But I don’t like the matchup.

Prediction: Lions 28 – Saints 17

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Week 7: @ The Green Bay Packers

Oh boy. Aaron Rodgers against this Saints defense? The Patriots will likely have a dangerous offense, for sure. And the Lions have a great OL. But with the adition of Martellus Bennett and the resurgence of Lord Jordy Nelson, I just don’t want to watch this game.

On the flip side, they have a very similar problem on defense as the Saints do: lack of talent across the EDGE, and questionmarks in the secondary.

I’m not a Nick Perry fan, and I don’t think he’s as dangerous as his 11 sacks in 2016 makes him sound. Clay Matthews is a shell of his former self. And there’s every reason to believe this Saints offense will move the ball all day long against the Packers.

But I’m still terrified of Rodgers against this defense. Until I see an improved product (which is very possible in 2017) I can’t in good conscience go anywhere else with this.

Prediction: Packers 45 – Saints 38

Week 8: The Chicago Bears

In case you forgot, Ryan Pace and the Chicago Bears decided to pay Mike Glennon $45M to play quarterback. They compared Glennon to Matty Ice. I think we’ll win this game.

The Bears are arguably one of the worst teams in the league. They have problems on defense, an absolute absence of talent on offense, and haven’t done much to fix any of that. They have an early pick in the draft, which will help them obviously. But will it help them enough?

Not a chance. I’ll take our defense against Mike Glennon any day of the week.

Prediction: Saints 31 – Bears 14

Week 9: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This could be a tough one. The Bucs are looking scarier by the day.

Dec 11, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) celebrates his touchdown pass to Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) in the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Washington defeated Philadelphia 27-22. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 11, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) celebrates his touchdown pass to Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) in the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Washington defeated Philadelphia 27-22. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports /

Their biggest offseason addition is clearly DeSean Jackson. And pairing him with Jameis Winston and Mike Evans is all sorts of evil. Even if the Saints land Malcolm Butler, they’re going to have a hard time containing this offense. The Bucs offense is dependent on the run game, and they don’t have any stellar RBs at the moment. But I expect that will change come draft-day. I expect it will be Mixon. And it’s going to be scary.

And on the other side, their defense will only get better. Well, in parts. Their secondary was young in 2016 and still looked very good. Unless there’s some regression from Vernon Hargreaves, they’re going to be tough. Brent Grimes is 33, could fall off a cliff. But Gerald McCoy is only 29 and sounds hungrier than ever.

This game is at home, and I wanted to give it to the Saints. But I can’t.

Prediction: Buccaneers 28 – Saints 24

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